Communities of color are often exposed to greater amounts pollution than others.  These higher exposures increase the risk of developing cancer, other health ailments, or simply intolerable living conditions, not to mention damage to property and reduced property values.  State agencies often lack the will and authority to protect communities of color from these risks.  The Alliance will seek equal justice for communities of color by exposing regulatory agency failures, challenging agency authorizations to pollute, petitioning for the adoption of rules to protect human health from cumulative exposures to contaminants, and enforcing civil rights laws.


Environmental Justice
     Alliance Supports Black Residents' Lawsuit Challenging Validity of ADEM Landfill Cover Rules  ** Donations Needed **
Jan. 23, 2019 -- The Alliance is providing financial support to allow three Black residents to appeal a circuit court decision upholding ADEM rules that allow landfill
wastes to be covered with materials other than earth. These alternative materials include tarps, petroleum contaminated soil, coal ash, and automotive shredder
residue. As a result of using these alternative materials, the residents claim they are suffering exposure to offensive odors and disease-carrying insects, rodents, and
other animals and reduced property values. The basis of their appeal is language in State law that specifies that waste shall be covered daily with six inches of
compacted earth. The Alliance seeks additional contributions to support this appeal.
  Alliance Supports Lawsuit Against ADEM Director for Adopting Invalid Discrimination Procedures ** Donations Needed **
Feb. 14, 2019 -- In an effort to comply with EPA regulations and secure the continued receipt of millions of
dollars in grant funding from EPA, ADEM has adopted environmental discrimination grievance procedures.
These procedures are supposed to be followed when persons complain that ADEM actions have subjected
them to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex. Under these procedures, ADEM is
required to determine if it has jurisdiction over a complaint, and if it does, to investigate the complaint and
provide a prompt and fair resolution of the complaint.
Unfortunately, the procedures are invalid for a number of reasons. First, they were adopted by the Director
of ADEM who lacks the authority adopt "rules" and "environmental policies." Second, they were adopted
without public notice and public comment required by two statutes. And third, the Legislature did not grant
ADEM authority to consider discrimination on the baasis of race, color, national origin, or sex in any
administrative decision. Thus, the procedures cannot provide a meaningful resolution of any complaints
alleging such discrimination.
Five Black individuals residing in three different counties in Alabama have filed a lawsuit against the Director of ADEM contesting the validity of the procedures in
hopes that the Legislature will grant ADEM the authority to consider racial discrimination in its administrative decisions, that the procedures wll be subjected to public
notice and comment, and that the procedures will be adopted by the Alabama Environmental Management Commission.
The Alliance is providing financial support to enable the Black residents to seek justice. Donations to the Alliance will help pay for litigation costs.
    Alliance Supports Challenge to Dothan Landfill Permit  ** Donations Needed **
Request for Hearing
Comments
Nov. 23, 2018 - The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) published
notice of intent to issue a revised permit to the City of Dothan authorizing it to expand its landfill
with capacity to last another 25-40 years. This is the City's third attempt to obtain approval for
the expansion. Two earlier attempts were defeated because of public notice defects.
On December 28, 2018, David A. Ludder, representing several residents with property near the
landfill, submitted comments on the proposed landfill expansion permit. (Click image below).
Ludder explained that the population within one mile of the landfill is 89 percent Black and that
this population has suffered offensive odors and disease carrying insects and vermin from the
operation of the landfill for many years. On February 28, 2019, ADEM held a public hearing on
the proposed permit. (Click on video).
ADEM granted the requested permit on May 6, 2019 and local residents filed an appeal to the
Environmental Management Commision on June 4, 2019. (Click image to right). The Alliance
hopes to provide financial support for the appeal as well as a discrimination complaint against
ADEM to be filed with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Donations to the Alliance will
support these actions.
Alliance prepares mapping tool showing Alabama facilities releasing toxics that pose health risks to minority communities

Open side panel to see legend by clicking on >> icon.  Click on dots to identify facilities and see data.  Click on census block groups to see population and percent minority.  A full-featured mapping tool and more facility data are located here.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE ALLIANCE
"Justice for All"